School run pushes up parents' stress levels

November 3, 2014 | By | In News

Parents’ stress levels have been found to jump by 30 per cent as mothers and fathers wake up and anticipate the impending school run, new research has found.

Levels of the hormone cortisol were found to spike in the morning, peaking at 8:15am as parents gear up to get out of the house and begin the dreaded school run. Stress levels were also found to take a long time to return to normal, with parents experiencing a ‘stress hangover’ until around 2:30pm, reports the Daily Mail.

This research saw chartered psychologist, Dr Simon Moore, analyse a number of school run parents’ saliva at five points across the day. The researcher discovered that stress levels lingered whether mothers and fathers return home after dropping children off or went straight to the office afterwards.

Making sure parents are feeling as little stress as possible before they start the drive to school is crucial to ensuring road safety on the school run.

On average stress levels were maintained until 2:30pm this study of parents, carried out for Allianz Insurance found. Dr Moore commented that lower stress levels were important for ensuring that parents were safe behind the wheel.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “Making sure parents are feeling as little stress as possible before they start the drive to school is crucial to ensuring road safety on the school run and there are lots that can be done to relieve stress.”

Spokesperson from Allianz Insurance, Francesa Keefe, added: “We know that stress has a negative impact on driving behaviour and with over half (55 per cent) of the UK’s children travelling to school by car it’s important that parents are doing what they can to relieve any unnecessary stress before they get behind the wheel.”

The school run is not all bad, however; 39 per cent of respondents to a survey carried out by Allianz said that they enjoyed spending time with their children, while 36 per cent cherished being able to hear about their kids’ days while driving home.

Picture: Monkey Business

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